News 27th March 2020

WADA Compliance Report: 3,000 corrective actions in 2019

Detail on corrective actions from WADA’s Compliance Annual Report…

Over 3,000 corrective actions were taken by signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code during 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) first Compliance Annual Report (PDF below) has revealed. The activities of 152 signatories over the previous 12 months were assessed under WADA’s Continuous Monitoring Programme, introduced in February 2019 as one of four methods used by WADA to assess Code compliance. Of those 152, 68 signatories were flagged as requiring further review or further information.

Action taken under the Continuous Monitoring Programme…

Of those 68, 25 were deemed satisfactory following review, and 43 requests were sent requiring further information or clarification. Fifteen Corrective Action Reports (CARs) were issued, which give Code signatories three months in order to make corrective action. Nine signatories entered the compliance procedure, as they didn’t implement all of the corrective actions within that three month period. Of those, three were referred to WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC), and decisions are pending.

The Report outlines that the majority of non-conformity was to do with testing, ‘which is logical as without testing, other areas such as results management and Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) become redundant’. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) received a Code Compliance Questionnaire (CCQ) from WADA, and both ‘received a CAR with a small number of corrective actions’, the majority of which related to testing and investigations. 

Corrective action from Compliance Audits…

WADA also conducted in-person Compliance Audits at the headquarters of 18 signatories during 2019, 12 of which involved national anti-doping organisations (NADOs), and six of which involved international federations. Fifteen CARs were issued by 31 December 2019, involving 315 findings and corrective actions, of which 116 (37%) has been implemented. Five signatories are subject to a decision from the CRC, as they did not implement all of the corrective actions within a three month period.

Many of these CARs required continual monitoring by WADA. ‘Continuous monitoring and desk audits have been introduced to ensure that Signatories sustain their anti-doping efforts and do not slip back into previous practices once corrective actions have been signed off’, reads the Report. 

Source and number of compliance procedure cases…

WADA’s focus on Russia did create issues. The Report reveals concerns that dealing with the Russian situation under the ISCCS diverted all investigative resources into one area. It mentions that the Russian situation required ‘an unprecedented amount of human and financial resources’, and this ‘reduced significantly the ability of I&I [Intelligence and Investigations] to potentially investigate other Signatories’. It mentions that ‘the focus of WADA’s resources on the Russian investigation could allow another country or sport to operate a similar program without being exposed’. 

WADA has previously argued that before the introduction of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) in April 2018, it was “not equipped” to deal with situations such as Russia’s manipulation of the doping control system, as no sanctioning regime was in place. Yet Article 20.7 of the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code did require WADA to ‘monitor Code compliance by signatories’ and to ‘cooperate with relevant national and international organizations and agencies, including but not limited to, facilitating inquiries and investigations’. WADA carried out investigations prior to 2015, such as the one it conducted into Lance Armstrong.

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